No Budget Could Mean Bumps in Your Road

The budget impasse is a bumpy political road that could mean actual bumpy Connecticut roads.

Because the state has been operating without a budget since July 1, cities and towns haven't seen $11 million that they were supposed to get for road construction projects, the Hartford Courant reports.

"This is certainly something that's affecting towns all over Connecticut," Kevin Maloney, spokesman for the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, told the newspaper. "Construction season in Connecticut is usually from late April to early October and to have the budget up in the air for so long hasn't been good for towns trying to figure out how they're going to pay for road and construction projects."

Another pitfall of not having a budget is what it will cost Connecticut in the future, State Treasurer Denise Nappier said.

The state runs the risk of having its bond rating downgraded, which means the state's cost of borrowing would increase and markets for the state's bonds would be limited.

Nappier said the state might also run out of time to issue bonds to pay off last fiscal year's deficit, estimated at $1 billion.

If legislation authorizing those bonds isn't passed before Sept. 1 -- the date the deficit is officially certified by the State Comptroller -- the state's $1.4 billion Rainy Day Fund will automatically be drained to cover that $1 billion. 

Gov.  M. Jodi Rell and legislators are expected to resume budget talks on Tuesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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